Resilient Cities

With more severe storms on the horizon, how should cities and towns prepare?

The Battery Park underpass in New York City sustained damage from Hurricane Sandy, shown here on October 30.
Flooding problems like this occur most often in areas of infill and recent development. How much should we rebuild or reinforce against disaster? Photo:Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York
Resilient Cities
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Resilient Cities

The phrase is: “The new normal.” The world we used to where Connecticut seemed neatly tucked away from hurricanes and tornadoes, destructive storm surges and catastrophic snowstorms.

That world is gone, replaced by one where every year brings another life-threatening emergency...or three. You’ve heard the governor of New York Andrew Cuomo talking about how the city’s systems weren’t designed to withstand the rush of water from a storm like Sandy - that flooded tunnels and subways and caused billions in damage. You’ve heard Connecticut Governor Dannell Malloy trying to address this issue too. 

Today, only a few days after Sandy left hundreds of thousands in the dark, and did untold amounts of damage to shoreline communities, we’re thinking about how cities and towns bounce back - how they become “resilient.”

It’s not a conversation about whether climate change is at the root of all this - that’s for this afternoon’s Colin McEnroe Show - but it’s about how we’re adapting - or not - to deal with things we’ve never seen.

We’ll talk to earth science experts, engineers and architects - and with you. How should we be rebuilding to deal with next year’s Storm Sandy? And are you willing to pay more - maybe a lot more - to make this happen?